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On October 26, 1979, President Park Chung Hee, who had ruled South Korea since a 1961 coup, was assassinated by Kim Jae Kyu, his director of intelligence. The film depicts the events of that night, with a coda about the fate of each conspirator. While Park dines in the Blue House with two associates and two young women, Kim carries out his plot. He talks briefly of bringing democracy; mostly he seems irritated. The other assassins seem without motive beyond following orders. The killings are bloody, the aftermath equally disorderly and haphazard. Can major events of history be so mundane, so nearly comic? Written by
Korean cinema has made leaps and bounds in recent years. Though The President's Last Bang is slightly inferior to more recommendable Korean films, it is still a superb example in storytelling.
The autocratic President Park lives the life of a typical dictator; opulent surroundings, promiscuous women and complete authority. As such, the state of the country is becoming more and more disgusting to the chief of secret police, Director Kim. On October 26, 1979, Kim concludes enough is enough and conspires with his loyal deputies. What follows are the fateful actions of those involved.
The President's Last Bang created quite a controversy in its native South Korea when it was released due to divided public opinion on the former president. Filmwise, the movie is well done, idiosyncratic and morbidly humorous. When was the last time regicide made you laugh, caused compassion and intrigued? It doesn't matter, go and see The President's Last Bang.
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